Sound — 10
Where to begin? The sound from Get Behind Me Satan is unlike any record I've ever heard, definitely any of those by the Stripes. But even though it is so different to the WS known and loved by many, it's brilliant. Who but Jack White would put marimba into what is perceived generally bogan rock group? The Nurse is bizarre in its choice of instrumental, but clearly they knew what they were doing - bizarre perhaps, but the result is chilling and thrilling. Rather than sticking to a country feel (their older albums), or one laced with excellent guitar riffs (Elephant), GBMS is a platter from which you can take your pick - Little Ghost a most excellent bluegrass tune, and Blue Orchid a memory of the Elephant and SNA days. The lack of electric guitar on GBMS could be disappointing, if it weren't made up for with plenty of wondorus acoustic and piano. And Meg's drumming will remain forevermore, and hopefully her singing will make further appearances on later records - although Passive Manipulation doesn't quite have the spine-tingle that In the Cold Cold Night (Elephant) had. Still, good to hear her voice around.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrics are written as only Jack can. The man is a genius. Songs about nurses and maids commiting dastardly deeds to their patients and masters? Brilliance. I use the word freely in this review, but for good cause. Passive manipulation and its incest-related lyrics seem quite appropriate for the ex-husband/wife-cum-brother/sister duo. The rest of the album does not quite leap out so spectacularly, but still, after listening to the CD over and over, there is some seriously good stuff in there.
Overall Impression — 10
I love this album. There is really no other way to put it. From the opener Blue Orchid, through to closing I'm Lonely (But I Ain't That Lonely Yet) there is magic. The different elements make the whole album worth listening to, as it isn't constrained to one genre with the potential to become quickly tiresome. Advised for any fan of the WS, no matter how vague. For that matter, any fan of virtually any rock/country sub-genre will find satisfying material for themelves to sing loudly on the bus, in the shower, etc. And although some of it may not be for everyone, there is definitely something hidden in Jack's ever-so-slightly grating vocals and Meg's characteristic pounding for everyone in there. Highly recommended.